@nousefouraname - Well, I can understand and respect your opinion about it, despite being a reality. So thanks for sharing the hard, cold facts about UNO as a "pure" non-football all-sports institution. But in my opinion, I think it sucks because it was the worst action that UNO has ever made. It's like the WAC dropping the sport because most of its now-former members went to other conferences.
I agree to an extent. I went to UNO and regularly attended football games throughout my college years and all the way until they ended the program. It truly hurt to see that program end. It also hurt to see them take down the retired numbers, including Marlin Briscoe (first African American QB in NFL history) when they converted Caniglia Field to a soccer stadium. It felt like decades of tradition were simply swept under the rug.
The problem is UNO has become completely hockey centric. I'd be in the minority of UNO sports fans on this, but I believe they've become too hockey centric. Hockey is their money maker, no doubt about it, but at this point nearly every decision regarding the athletic program are made with a hockey first mentality and sometimes the other sports are forgotten in the process.
I have no doubt that football was losing tons of money. That isn't really even debateable; however, UNO fans suffered through decades of totally incompetent administrators both on the academic and athletic level that either didn't care about athletics or were downright stealing from athletics. There was a huge scandal where the former chancellor and her top aide were literally using athletics as a personal slush fund. It was ugly and a number of good people in the athletic department lost their jobs due to the transgressions of a few.
The new chancellor and athletic director are good people, who I truly believe have the best interests of the athletic department in mind, but they were stuck between a rock and a hard place from the get go. They were basically told by the board of regents to make athletics solvent at UNO, or the whole program could be ended. The model of having hockey at D-I and the other sports at D-2 was no longer feasible, so they had to move to D-I. Yet, you had a football program that was hemorragging money. It's easy to see why that was the case as no athletic director at UNO had made it a priority to grow the fanbase in the previous 30 years despite the fact that the 90's and early 00's were arguably the most successful period in program history. So, you had a program at D-2 drawing 3-5k a game and losing roughly $3 million a year. They would have lost even more at the FCS level given increased scholarship and travel costs. Any move to FCS would have required the addition of more scholarships unless they somehow moved to the Patriot League. That was an option I pushed for, at least to give the program time to try to become solvent, but the powers that be within the University of Nebraska system never really even explored it.
It was all about moving to D-I, getting the program out of the red, and ultimately ensuring the futures of hockey and basketball enough to get a new on campus arena built which is now about to happen. Football and wrestling were doomed from the second they chose to make the move, sadly. Soccer and golf were cheaper cost cutting measures that helped to get the program out of insolvency. I say R.I.P. UNO football; however, as a fan of UNO basketball, hockey, soccer, and baseball, there's alot to be excited about. The move to D-I is already paying dividends. We will have that new on campus arena and there are rumors of an on campus baseball facility coming. We have already won a Summit League Championship in baseball. We have a top 150 RPI basketball team this year...and as painful as it is, the converted football facility will help us build a competitive soccer team for years to come.
I can truly say that the Summit League has been an amazing experience for UNO...and UNO has held up its end of the bargain for the Summit League. Despite my doubts and the unfortunate losses of football and wrestling, it's been a match made in heaven.
Then UNO should have stayed in D-II instead of moving to D-I altogether, OR perish the entire athletic program in the process so it can be merged with another nearby campus within the Univ. of Nebraska system (if them staff members wanted to solve up economically).
And no wonder most of the Western universities that are NOT from the Pac-12 or former-WAC or MW no longer sponsor football, because of high economic issues. Look at Pacific, UC-Santa Barbara, Cal St.-Fullerton, Cal St.-Long Beach. All of them who once sponsored football had put it down the drain.
Don't wanna sound sarcastic, but I hope within years to come that the UNO academic and athletic staff will plan to reconsider on re-instating those sports (which are truly pure tradition for the school) in the far future; just as long as they feel "comfortable" with their current status as a "pure" non-football all-sports institution, regardless of its recent success on certain sports (like you mentioned it, currently a Summit League conference title on baseball). Because that's what UNO has totally become!
Oh, I almost forgot. Since UNO is on D-I, how come that they don't have a basketball arena that's at least 5,000 or 7,500 in terms of capacity yet (as it's required by most D-I FBS conferences who sponsor basketball)?